Everyone knows that brands are important. The McDonald’s double arches are way more noticeable than the awesome logo of Mom’s Diner, because McDonald’s spent millions of dollars and hours building this brand and solidifying it in the minds of consumers. Obviously, this brand value is important. But what if I told you branding was even more important for small business? With big business, many resources are focused on “maintaining”; Maintaining customers, maintaining processes, maintaining employees, etc. Yes, the Nikes’ of the world base their business on their brand, but to some degree, these companies already have their market and customers. But small businesses do not. These organizations are small because they are still developing, acquiring customers and growing market share (hopefully). Minus some exceptions, I think it’s safe to say t the goal of most small businesses isn’t to remain small businesses. One of the best ways to get noticed and in turn grow market share is through branding. Here are a couple reasons why branding is more important for small business:
Branding Develops Perceived Expertise
Customers who don’t trust you won’t be your customers for long. They need to believe that if they give you money, you will give them something more valuable. Makes sense to me. Big business became big by creating this type of value for customers, so now their brand is associated with this value. But because many small businesses have not yet developed long-term customer relationships on a large scale, it is important to find a way to offer this same type of worth. One of the best ways for small businesses to create perceived value for potential customers is by establishing expertise, or at least perceived expertise, through branding. But not just for the business. In order to motivate a buying decision, small businesses must brand their controllers as experts in the niche as well, which can be done through personal branding. This credibility translates into trust, and when customers trust you to bring them value, they’ll stick around.
Branding Creates Transparency
People love to hate big business. After all, big business is made up of massive, faceless corporations that just want to steal money from little old ladies and rip off the government, right? The reason big business has such a bad reputation is simply because of what it is: big. It’s too big for the executives to develop a personal relationship with each customer, so it simply becomes a company rather than a team. This is where branding helps small business. By branding yourself early on, you can establish a transparency that goes beyond financial statements and helps create personal relationships, or at least personal-esque relationships. When you use personal branding to develop expertise and transparency, you create long-lasting customers. Plus, happy customers tell their friends.
What’s This Mean to Me?
Your company’s greatest asset is YOU! Customers love businesses with a personality, so give yours one. Brand yourself as an expert and create transparency, and good things will follow. My goal is for all of you to implement these ideas, grow your business and make this article completely irrelevant to your now-large business. Happy branding!